[at The Verge] – Microsoft started a huge advertising campaign for Windows 8 and Surface during its launch last year, but the company is reportedly planning to spend even more this year for Windows 8.1. Winsupersite reports that Microsoft spent $241 million on retail Windows efforts last year, but that it’s expected to spend around $405 million this year. Microsoft is reportedly aiming for around 16 million Windows tablet sales over the holiday season, with improvements to its marketing and retail efforts being the main changes to help convince consumers to buy Windows tablets. Microsoft recently teamed up with Best Buy to create Windows Stores inside 600 retail locations and the software giant is doing the same with over retailers around the world. Windows tablet sales have been slow since the release of Windows 8 a year ago, and Microsoft is clearly hoping that Windows 8.1 and a new range of devices will help spur them on this time around.
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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), valued at $297.35B, started the session at $35.61.
A quick look at the market, the company’s traded between $35.53 to $35.69 with a one year range of $26.26 to $36.43.
Microsoft (MSFT) shares are currently priced at 13.26x this year’s forecasted earnings, which makes them relatively expensive compared to the industry’s -12.31x earnings multiple for the same period.
And for those looking to make a return holding the stock, the company pays shareholders $1.12 per share annually in dividends, yielding 3.20%.
According to a consensus of 29 analysts, the earnings estimate of $0.69 per share would be $0.07 worse than the year-ago quarter and a $0.09 sequential decrease. What we find to be interesting is that the full-year EPS estimate of $2.67 is a $0.02 improvement when compared to the previous year’s annual results.
The quarterly earnings estimate is based on a consensus revenue forecast of the current quarter of $23.64 Billion. If realized, that would be a 10.16% increase over the year-ago quarter.
Recently, Stifel downgraded MSFT from Buy to Hold (Aug 13, 2013).
Previously, Standpoint Research downgraded MSFT from Buy to Hold.
Investors should keep in mind is that the average price target is $35.60, which is 0.03% below where the stock opened this morning.
Microsoft Corporation (NYSE:MSFT), develops, licenses and supports software, services and hardware devices worldwide. Its is most well known for it’s many Microsoft Operating System, numerous Office Programs, Bing and the various Xbox gaming systems.
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